The Art of Relating

Ma Prem Naina
Most people look for a loving relationship in wrong places. Essentially though, all relationships are based on energy – the human, loving, caring energy. Relationships based on such positive energy show a state of consciousness which reflects intimacy in various aspects of togetherness such as: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The loving couple/partners experience intimate relationship which blends the energy in a harmonious way so that love flows between them more freely and naturally. On the other hand, when couple/partners are in a negative, poor relationship involved in an on- going state of arguments, fights, quarrels there is a distinct sign energy not blending and flowing freely. The friction is not only painful but psychologically damaging. Couples or partners often fail to realize that intimacy between a male and a female is about more than having a sexual relationship. It is a common fact that when intimate contact exists only on a physical plane it tends to bring frustration as the physical body changes and the earlier attraction begins to fade. Hence, Osho’s observation is that, “Sex has never satisfied anybody. It creates more and more dissatisfaction. Sex has never fulfilled anybody – it knows no fulfillment.”
Seeing our relationships from our own personal viewpoints usually ends up seeing oneself as the victim, as someone who is wronged by the other. However, if we could see outside our personal viewpoints what is happening energetically, we might come across the very dynamics of relationship in a more objective and compassionate way. The conscious mind exists because of the relationship between people. It is just a link between us and all those with whom we are related, but it does not help in relating to our own self, in knowing our own self.
Relating means one is always starting, s/he is always trying to become acquainted. Again and again, both are introducing yourself to each other.
It is so ugly to get married without love and relating. It simply shows they can’t trust themselves, they trust the authorities more than they trust their own inner voice. It shows that because they can’t trust their love, they trust the law.
Osho says, “Relating means you are always starting, you are always trying to become acquainted. Again and again, you are introducing yourself to each other. You are trying to see the many facets of the other’s personality. You are trying to penetrate deeper and deeper into his realm of inner feelings, into the deep recesses of her being. You are trying to unravel a mystery which cannot be unravelled. That is the joy of love: the exploration of consciousness.
And if you relate, and don’t reduce it to a relationship, then the other will become a mirror to you. Exploring the other, unawares you will be exploring yourself too. Getting deeper into the other, knowing his feelings, his thoughts, his deeper stirrings, you will be knowing your own deeper stirrings too. Lovers become mirrors to each other, and then love becomes a meditation.
Relationships are ugly, relating is beautiful.”
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical But it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person  without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other.
Osho points out “Love is not a relationship. Love relates, but it is not a relationship. A relationship is something finished. A relationship is a noun; the full stop has come, the honeymoon is over. Now there is no joy, no enthusiasm, now all is finished. You can carry it on, just to keep your promises. You can carry it on because it is comfortable, convenient, cosy. You can carry it on because there is nothing else to do. You can carry it on because if you disrupt it, it is going to create too much trouble for you.
The law comes into love because love is not there. It is only a fantasy, and you know the fantasy will disappear. Before it disappears, settle down.”
A relationship means something complete, finished, closed. Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends. It is not like a novel that starts at a certain point and ends at a certain point. It is an ongoing phenomenon. Lovers end, love continues. It is a continuum. It is a verb, not a noun.
Why do we reduce the beauty of relating to a relationship? Why are we in such a hurry? Because to relate is insecure, and a relationship is security, a relationship has certainty. Relating is just a meeting of two strangers, maybe just an overnight stay, and in the morning we say goodbye. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? And we are so afraid that we want to make it certain, we want to make it predictable. We would like tomorrow to be according to our ideas; we don’t allow it freedom to have its own say. So we immediately reduce every verb to a noun.
Osho observes, “The day you stop relating with people, you stop relating with existence. People are the closest existence to you. Relate to people, relate to trees, relate to birds and animals and rocks, and only then will you be able to relate to God. Love is the way.”
Once we have understood this strange arithmetic of love: that the more we give, the more we have. This is just against the economic laws that operate in the outside world. Once we have known that, if we want to have more love and more joy, we give and share, then we simply share. And whosoever allows us to share our joy with him or with her, we feel grateful to him or her. But it is not a relationship; it is a riverlike flow.
The river passes by the side of a tree, saying hello, nourishing the tree, giving water to the tree and it moves on, dances on. It does not cling to the tree. The tree does not say, “Where are you going? We are married! And before you can leave me you will need a divorce, at least a separation! Where are you going? And if you were to leave me, why had you danced so beautifully around me? Why in the first place did you nourish me?” No, the tree showers its flowers onto the river in deep gratefulness, and the river moves on. The wind comes and dances around the tree and moves on. And the tree gives its fragrance to the wind.
This is relating. If humanity is ever going to become grown-up, mature, this will be the way of love: people meeting, sharing, moving, a nonpossessive quality, a nondominating quality. Otherwise love becomes a power trip.


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